In the middle of reading period, I wrote this never-posted vent:
I’ve managed to miss two therapy appointments in the past three weeks and I am insanely frustrated with myself for doing so. To be fair, I completely forgot about yesterday’s appointment because I needed to visit the Currier Housing Office, speak with my Senior Tutor/Resident Dean (whatever they’re calling him these days), and get my professional obligations in order. At least it wasn’t because I slept through it.
I met someone last week who told me they thought they were seeing my therapist. This is probably the third instance I’ve heard of. Unbeknownst to readers, I gave her a pseudonym as well — no need for her name to be made public, after all. But as a result, some people have come to believe that the Sarahs at the BSC and MHS are the ones who are seeing me.
I am slightly concerned about what I’m going to do this summer — and next fall, for that matter — since I will no longer be seeing Sarah after our last session (May 29th). Student insurance only covers up to 12 sessions and I’m nearing the limit. I get the feeling that if I really push for it, I can continue seeing someone, but I know MHS is understaffed as it is. Makes me feel guilty since there are people who probably need the help far more than I do.
I never did make it to another session and I found out shortly after I left campus that my therapist Sarah is leaving UHS. At the time, I was getting settled into New York so I didn’t really think about it. But now, I’m kind of disappointed that I never got the chance to say goodbye. I managed to miss a record of three appointments in a row during my last month at school (due to exam insanity, forgetfulness, and oversleeping). That’s not characteristic of the rest of the year. I’ve been really vigilant about my mental health since my first visit in October but lately, it’s fallen by the wayside. I was supposed to find a sliding scale therapist in the city. Never got around to it, though I do think I’m in a significantly more stable emotional state than I’ve ever been since college. And on the bright side, I can continue therapy at UHS past the 12-visit limit I think … I’m pretty sure no one’s keeping track especially since my gal’s leaving.
There’s also the chance to start over with someone who’s a better fit. I liked Sarah quite a bit but we weren’t a perfect match. She understood my problems, but she didn’t understand in an empathetic way. But I suppose that’s a lot to ask for, and someone who can empathize is probably not the best therapist for me anyway. Regardless, she made a very real, measurable impact on my life. I honestly think I’m happier and more functional after having seen her.
And regarding her identity: apparently, there are Sarahs at the Bureau of Study Counsel and at Mental Health Services and both have been asked about their professional relationship with me. If it were anyone else, I’d probably be bothered by speculation (it’s kind of creepy!) but this is a counselor not a hookup we’re talking about. I actually find it very comforting that people think we’re seeing the same therapist. Depression never feels universal, especially at Harvard. If anything, its defining characteristic is isolation and loneliness. To know that someone else is getting help from the same person who helps you is very, very comforting. Sarah may not be my therapist but she is counseling more than one of you out there.